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long term mag storage, loaded or unloaded?

Discussion in 'Magazines' started by bullseyebob, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. bullseyebob

    bullseyebob G&G Regular

    Dec 27, 2010
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    my concern is for ak47 steel mags, glock 19 mags, ruger 10/22 25 round mags.

    i rather keep them all loaded in case i need them quickly. my ak47 mags are loaded since 1999 with one less round. i never had a malfunction so far. springs seem normal.

    i can feel the difference in my older glock mags but they never malfunctioned yet. they been loaded for 5 years. the new springs are out of stock of course.

    i bought 2 used mossberg 500 12 ga and the mag springs where very weak but still functioned. i replaced those.

    am i doing this right?
  2. TheWall

    TheWall Firearm Affectionado Forum Contributor

    May 12, 2007
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    My thoughts on this are if you're going to store them for long periods don't load them. Not because it will cause any problems but I think it's better for the ammo to be kept in boxes and stored properly until ready to use. I'm not one that believes it will cause the springs to weaken, or work harden. You say you like to keep them loaded in case you need them. I can see keeping the one that's in the gun loaded, but why have more than that I don't know. What are the odds of something happening where you will need a bunch of loaded magazines quickly. If that's what you want to do go for it, because it won't hurt the magazines. If you use any lube on your magazines, (I don't!) don't store with ammo in them. The oil will leach into primers and bullets won't go bang. IMHO
    MoDoc likes this.
  3. jwernecke

    jwernecke G&G Newbie

    Sep 7, 2009
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    The biggest issue to me is not an issue of the mag spring but of the feed lips. Metal fatigues from use. Loading and unloading a mag everyday would cause failure. Compressing a spring and leaving it would not cause failure of the material. It does however put a large amount of constant pressure on the feed lips. That was the biggest reason for the design of the magpul pmag dust cover. It actually compresses the bullets just a little to take that pressure off.

    Sent from my DROID3 using Gun and Game mobile app
  4. animalspooker

    animalspooker G&G Evangelist

    Mar 13, 2010
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    Oh no! This is one of those that turns out like a '.270 vs .30-06' argument. If you ask 100 people, 50 will tell you not to leave them loaded, and 50 will tell you about their mags that have been loaded since 1955 and are still functioning wonderfully!
  5. Jay

    Jay Old man, No tact... Staff Member Forum Contributor

    Mar 16, 2002
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    ...or, someone will post information from a reputable source, that has merit rather than myth....

    Cycling of a loaded magazine is what will wear on a spring. Static compression will not damage or weaken a magazine spring that is properly heat-treated, properly engineered, and not physically damaged.

  6. Tha Dave

    Tha Dave G&G Evangelist

    Nov 24, 2009
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    I have had mags that I personally loaded in 1946 (I was born in the mid 80's) that are still good today. You can load a steel mag with bricks and salt water it will still be good I did that too back in 1974 and that mag still works fine, but what ever you do, dont store them in a shaded, cool, dry place that will distory a mag faster than anythin.

    sorry I havent had caffine today :p
  7. TACAV

    TACAV G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Feb 21, 2005
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    What Jay said x1,000

    Magazine wear comes from use.... as in compression and decompression of the spring.

    This question gets asked fairly often, The two examples i always use to put this in perspective is this.

    Which shock/spring kit on a truck will wear out faster and need replacement?
    A. The truck that sits in the garage 95% of the year bearing the weight of the truck, or
    B. The same truck that gets taken out every weekend to go off-roading through the bumpy fields.

    Also think of all those loaded mags that cops walk around with on their duty belts all the time. They don't get shot much except for quals a couple times a year (for all those cops that are not "gun people"). They still work fine.

    In regards to rifle mags, some like the PMag have the dust covers for storage. meh. I have several that I keep loaded all the time with no dust covers. They still all work fine. They are gen 1 Pmags from 2006 and they are still going strong.

    Other quality mags like the Lancer L5's have steel reinforced feed lips.

    I have a bunch of Glock, Sig, and SW M&P Mags (and several PMags) that are always kept fully loaded. No problems.
  8. M14man

    M14man I don't take prisoners... Forum Contributor

    Jun 30, 2007
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    Let me try and understand, you want to keep ALL your magazines loaded incase you need them quickly...Whay pray tell would be a situation where you need all your mags loaded and don't have the few seconds, or minutes to load them? One OK, but all?
  9. Ten Man

    Ten Man G&G Evangelist

    Jul 28, 2009
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    Just a thought, but it is easier to carry loaded magazines in a limited amount of space than it is to carry empty magazines PLUS boxes of ammo in that same limited space.

    Therefore, having the magazines pre-loaded in a BOB would be prudent.
  10. G&G Newbie

    Nov 17, 2012
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    Dont think u could do that in my country, they would take ya lic and rape you, but hey our mags i think can only hold max 10 rounds, u cant keep ammo and guns with each other, and ammo has to be locked else where and not loaded into anything

    But i agree with people. you may never need them but if there is zombie apoco than you might ;) but i guess it takes up less space you could have the mags loaded on the guns you dont really use waiting just incase, and than have ammo stored ontop so you always have extra rounds and ammo in a small space

    think half the people would say store the ammo alone, but the other half say store it loaded, i think the both will do the same over many years i guess it goes on the conditions, heat, weather and how well they are stored,
  11. M14man

    M14man I don't take prisoners... Forum Contributor

    Jun 30, 2007
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    Of course mags in a BOB, or in combat would be loaded, and storage- space issues were not what the OP brought up. He wanted them all loaded in case he needed them quickly. I can still not fathom a reason where and why all mags would need to be loaded in advance.
  12. deadzero

    deadzero G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Dec 29, 2008
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    Good example.
    compressing and decompressing a spring will weaken it faster than one that is at rest.
    But, even a spring under load at rest will weaken over time.
    I was a suspension specialist for over 30 years. the only way to keep a suspension spring from weakening and begin to sag is to get the weight off of it. That's why collectors put car frames on blocks and let the wheels hang so they can preserve the ride height of the original factory installed spings. replacement springs will not have the tags and marks for show competition.

    But as far as mags, I keep several loaded irregardless. an empty mag is of little use when seconds count.

    P.S. I have had two .45 mags that I found did noticably weaken, loaded of over 20 years, and made by Wilson Rodgers. stretched the springs and they function just fine to this day. Just my own personal experience....
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